Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Legislation

Working closely with members of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and our allied partners in the Legislature, Equality California sponsors and supports pro-equality state legislation in Sacramento. Together, we’ve enacted the strongest statewide civil rights protections for LGBTQ people in the nation. As of December 2018, Equality California has passed 142 state bills and resolutions aimed at advancing LGBTQ civil rights and social justice.

In 2017, Equality California opened a national policy office in Washington, DC, to represent LGBTQ Californians and our allies in the nation’s capital. We advocate for pro-equality legislation — including bills inspired by the legislation we’ve passed in Sacramento — and work hand-in-hand with California’s Congressional delegation.

2019 State Legislation
Equality California is sponsoring the following state legislation in 2019:

Safe and Supportive Schools Act – AB 493 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond

AB 493 will provide California schools with resources to support LGBTQ students and create safer school environments. LGBTQ students have higher dropout rates than their non-LGBTQ peers and continue to report missing school because of safety concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ students. This legislation will give teachers and school staff the tools and training they need — and want — to support LGBTQ students who may be facing harassment or lack of acceptance at school, rejection at home or discrimination in the broader community. Public school teachers and staff are on the front lines of providing a safety net against the effects of discrimination and lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which can result in higher dropout rates, lower economic success and a number of other disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people continue to face. If LGBTQ students have support in school, their likelihood of overcoming these disparities and succeeding in school and life increases significantly. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 493 along with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

Status: Passed by the Assembly 61-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on Education 6-0 with bipartisan support. Referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

LGBTQ Young People Nondiscrimination – SB 145 by Senator Scott Wiener and LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey

SB 145 will address the state’s discriminatory practice of treating LGBTQ young people differently than their non-LGBTQ peers when engaging in voluntary sexual activity. Currently, for example, if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend, he isn’t automatically required to register as a sex offender. But if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend or an 18-year-old girl has voluntary sex with her 17-year-old girlfriend, they’re automatically required to register as sex offenders, no matter the circumstances. SB 145 only applies when a teenager age 14 or older has consensual sex with a partner who is within 10 years of age. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 145 along with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

Status: Passed by the Senate 25-3 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 6-2. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

PrEP and PEP Access Expansion – SB 159 by Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria

SB 159 will reduce barriers to accessing HIV preventative medications. This legislation will authorize pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a prescription. Pharmacists are already authorized to furnish birth control pills without a prescription. The legislation will also prohibit insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 159 along with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and California Pharmacists Association.

Status: Passed by the the Senate 35-1 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions 17-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Health 13-0 with bipartisan support. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Intersex Autonomy – SB 201 by Senator Scott Wiener

SB 201 will protect the rights of intersex Californians — “intersex” being a term used for people born with variations in their sex characteristics — by ensuring they can provide informed consent before medically unnecessary, often irreversible and potentially harmful procedures are performed on them. SB 201, at its core, is about giving people born with variations in their sex characteristics autonomy over their own bodies. The bill does not prohibit treatment or surgery when it is medically necessary; it will simply delay elective surgeries often performed on babies in an attempt to “normalize” their bodies until they have the ability to make their own informed decision. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 201 along with interACT and the ACLU of California.

Status: Testimony heard by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development on Monday, April 1. Converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.

Homeless Youth Grant Program – AB 307 by Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes and Senator Scott Wiener

AB 307 will require the development and administration of a grant program that would, primarily, support nonprofit organizations or continuum of care administrative entities in serving youth experiencing homelessness. Funding will go toward an array of supportive services, including rental assistance, drug abuse prevention, health care and employment assistance. All programs funded under AB 307 will be required to have the cultural competence to serve youth who identify as LGBTQ. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 307 along with the California Coalition for Youth, Tipping Point Community, John Burton Advocates for Youth, Housing CA and Corporation for Supportive Housing. 

Status: Passed by the Assembly 74-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on Human Services 6-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on Housing 10-0 with bipartisan support. Referred the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Affirming Records – SB 741 by Senator Cathleen Galgiani

SB 741 will update the law to allow transgender Californians to update their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children to accurately reflect their legal name and gender, while still protecting their privacy. Current state law allows transgender people to petition courts to change their legal name and gender to conform with their gender identity. The law then allows such a person’s old birth certificate to be sealed and a new one issued as an original to protect the person’s privacy and respect their identity. This legislation would simply align the process for updating transgender people’s marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children with the process for updating their own birth certificate. This will help to prevent discrimination when a transgender person enrolls their child in school, applies for a loan or seeks to make medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated spouse.

Status: Passed by the Senate 30-8 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary 9-2. Referred to the Committee on Health. Converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.

LGBTQ Mortality Data – AB 650 by Assemblymember Evan Low

AB 650 will enhance data available regarding the LGBTQ community. Research suggests that LGBTQ people are at much higher risk of becoming victims of violent crimes than non-LGBTQ people, and multiple studies — including studies by our cosponsor the Trevor Project — have shown that LGBTQ adolescents are at three times the risk of suicide as their non-LGBTQ peers. Accurate and comprehensive mortality statistics can inform policy to reduce preventable deaths and improve quality of life for all LGBTQ people. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 650 with the Trevor Project.

Status: Passed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 15-0 and the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 8-0. Held by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.

Bias-Free Child Custody Determinations – SB 495 by Senator Maria Elena Durazo

SB 495 will add language to the California Family Code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity of a parent, legal guardian or relative when granting custody of a child. While there are examples of California case law to the effect that “sexual preference” should not affect child custody determinations, this language is outdated, unclear and has not been codified within the California Family Code. This lack of clear and comprehensive policy allows local Family Court mediators, investigators, and judges to make recommendations and rulings based on their own biases about how sexuality and gender may impact the “well-being of the child.” All parents deserve the right to be considered in matters of custody without their sexual orientation or gender identity being used against them. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 495 with the Women’s Policy Institute and the Long Beach Bar Association.

Status: Passed by the Senate 30-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary 9-0. Read second time and ordered to a third reading and final vote on the Assembly Floor.

Updating Transgender Students’ Academic Records – AB 711 by Assemblymember David Chiu

AB 711 will ensure that local educational agencies in California update the records of former students who identify as transgender, making certain that their legal name and gender are accurately reflected on critical documents like high school diplomas and school transcripts. This includes reissuing high school diplomas and high school equivalency certificates, as needed. This bill seeks to close a gap in current law to ensure that all transgender people who have attended California educational institutions have the same rights and protections. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 711 with Transgender Law Center.

Status: Passed by the Assembly 61-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on Education 6-0 with bipartisan support. Read second time and ordered to a third reading and final vote on the Senate Floor.

Strengthening California’s Equal Pay Act – AB 758 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo

AB 758 will strengthen California’s equal pay laws by requiring that employees of all genders are paid equitably to their counterparts for substantially similar work. This bill will also address unjustified workplace pay differentials for employees who do not conform to the gender binary. California’s Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying an employee less than an employee of “the opposite sex” for substantially similar work. AB 758 will update the California Equal Pay Act’s outdated binary language to align with the Gender Recognition Act of 2017 (SB 179, Atkins), which enabled Californians to obtain state issued identity documents that reflect their gender identity by creating a third, nonbinary gender marker.

Status: Passed by the Assembly Committee on Labor & Employment 7-0 and the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary 9-2. Held by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.

Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act – SB 132 by Senator Scott Wiener

SB 132 addresses a very real problem facing incarcerated transgender individuals, namely, transgender people being housed according to their birth-assigned gender, not their gender identity or perception of safety, resulting in significant risk of violence. Transgender women housed in male facilities face particular risk of rape and assault. SB 132 will change state law to require incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation be classified and housed based on their gender identity, unless the incarcerated person’s evaluation of their own safety is that another housing placement is safest. SB 132 also requires that the preferred first name, gender pronoun and honorific of the incarcerated individual be used by facility staff in all written and verbal communications. By housing incarcerated transgender people based on their gender identity or perception of health and safety, transgender people will be housed in institutions that decrease their likelihood of experiencing targeting and violence, and they will have access to the programming and work opportunities that will best promote and support their health and safety.

Status: Passed by the Senate 29-8 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 5-1. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Gamete Banks Donor Information – AB 785 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom

AB 785 will streamline the transfer of important donor medical history information for families and donor-conceived individuals. This legislation also aligns the existing state codes to match the federal Food and Drug Administration’s regulations for tissue transfers.

Status: Passed by the Assembly on consent. Passed by the Senate Committee on Health 9-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary 9-0 with bipartisan support. Read second time and ordered to a third reading and final vote on the Senate Floor.

Honoring Bayard Rustin – ACR 27 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo

ACR 27 honors the legacy of civil rights, labor and LGBTQ leader Bayard Rustin. Born on March 17, 1912 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rustin dedicated his entire life to advancing justice and dignity for all. He was a close advisor to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and promoted equity through nonviolent protests. An openly gay African American, Rustin understood the intricate intersections of marginalized identities and fought tirelessly for progress and opportunity. His extraordinary efforts promoted unity and transformed the landscape of activism.

Status: Adopted by the Assembly and sent to the Senate.

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness – HR 12 by Assemblymembers Mike Gipson and Todd Gloria and SR 15 by Senators Holly Mitchell, Toni Atkins, Steven Bradford, Cathleen Galgiani and Scott Wiener

Introduced by members of the Legislative LGBT Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus, HR 12 and SR 15 proclaimed February 7, 2019 as Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in California in order to encourage greater awareness, education, community engagement, and treatment. Equality California cosponsored HR 12 and SR 15 with the California State NAACP.

Status: Adopted by the Assembly and the Senate.

2019 Federal Legislation
Equality California has taken positions on the following federal legislation, with additional bills and resolutions to be added as they are introduced:

Equality Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 5 by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) and S.788 by Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR)

Co-sponsored by nearly every member of California’s Congressional delegation, the Equality Act will provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country. Specifically, the Equality Act will amend existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill will also amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

Status: Passed by the House 236-173 with bipartisan support. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.

DREAM and American Promise Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R. 6 by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Co-sponsored by nearly every member of California’s Congressional delegation, the DREAM and American Promise Act of 2019 will give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements. The legislation will also provide relief for recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients. The Trump-Pence Administration has sought to cancel and restrict these programs, putting millions of LGBTQ immigrants across California and the United States — immigrants who attend school here, work here and pay taxes here — at risk. Of the 200,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in the State of California, Equality California estimates that as many as 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.

Status: Passed by the House 237-187 with bipartisan support. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.

DREAM Act (SUPPORT) – S. 874 by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

The DREAM Act of 2019 will give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec. 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements. Of the 200,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in the State of California, Equality California estimates that as many as 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.

Status: Introduced in the Senate.

Every Child Deserves a Family Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R 3114 by Representative John Lewis (D-GA) and S. 1791 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

More than 440,000 children are in the foster care system, of whom one in five identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ foster youth suffer worse outcomes in care, including longer stays in residential care rather than with families, greater rates of multiple placements, criminal justice involvement, hospitalization for emotional reasons, and being trafficked. This proposal would prohibit federally funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families, and individuals based on religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity; ban conversion therapy for foster youth; require data collection on LGBTQ foster youth and parents; and require federally funded child welfare to be affirming of foster children’s complex social identities, including their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R. 3133 by Representative Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and S. 1721 by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)

The so-called gay and trans “panic” defense is a legal strategy which asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction, including murder. It is not a free-standing defense to criminal liability, but rather a legal tactic which is used to bolster other defenses. When the defense is employed, the perpetrator claims that their victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity not only explains – but excuses – their loss of self-control and subsequent assault. By fully or partially acquitting the perpetrators of crimes against LGBTQ+ victims, these defenses imply that LGBTQ+ lives are worth less than others. Equality California sponsored and passed the first state law banning these defenses with then-Attorney General Kamala Harris and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla in 2014. Our Nevada-based program Silver State Equality helped to pass a similar state law banning these defenses in 2019. 

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

PrEP Access and Coverage Act (SUPPORT) – S. 1926 by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

This bill would require private and public companies selling life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance plans to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), with no out-of-pocket costs for patients. It would prohibit these companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums for people taking PrEP. It would provide grants to help physicians and other providers better understand of PrEP and the recommended clinical practices. And it would fund a public education campaign to reduce disparities in access to and use of PrEP through education—particularly in high-need communities in which PrEP is underutilized—about the safety and efficacy of the drug and to combat stigma surrounding PrEP usage.

Status: Introduced in the Senate.

Promoting Respect for Individuals’ Dignity and Equality (PRIDE) Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R.3299 by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and S.515 by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide for equal treatment of same sex married couples. It permits such couples to amend their filing status to married filing jointly for tax returns outside of the statute of limitations and modifies tax rules relating to married couples to include same sex couples.

Status: Passed in the House and introduced in the Senate.

Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1692 by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and S. 758 by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

This proposal would restore abortion coverage to women who receive health care or insurance through the federal government by repealing the “Hyde Amendment,” and would prohibit state or local governments from restricting coverage of abortion by private health insurance plans.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Women’s Health Protection Act (SUPPORT) — H.R. 2975 and S. 1645 by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

WHPA would protect health care providers’ ability to deliver abortion services free from medically unnecessary and onerous restrictions, such as needless waiting periods, burdensome admitting privilege requirements for providers, or unnecessary medical procedures, like ultrasounds.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate

Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and in Emergency “SECURE” Act (SUPPORT) ­– S. 879 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

This proposal would allow qualified Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for legal permanent residency in the United States.

Status: Introduced in the Senate.

For the People Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1 by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD)

A top priority for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the For the People Act will protect voting rights, reduce the influence of big money in politics and strengthen ethics rules for federal officials.

Status: Passed by the House 234-193. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.

Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (SUPPORT) – H.R. 8 by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and S. 42 by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Co-sponsored by nearly every member of California’s Congressional Delegation, the commonsense Bipartisan Background Checks Act will require background checks on all firearm sales, helping to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and closing the dangerous loopholes that currently allow the no-questions-asked sale of weapons at gun shows and online. Enacting gun safety reforms at the federal level is a top priority for Equality California. LGBTQ people and our allies are often the targets of bias-motivated gun violence.

Status: Passed by the House 240-190. Introduced in the Senate.

Retention and Service of Transgender Individuals in the Armed Forces (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1032 by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) and S. 373 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

This bipartisan proposal would protect the rights of qualified transgender servicemembers to enlist and serve openly in the military.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Expressing Opposition to Banning Service in the Armed Forces by Openly Transgender Individuals (SUPPORT) – H.Res. 124 by Representative Joe Kennedy (D-MA)

This non-binding resolution expresses opposition to President Trump’s transgender military ban and urges the Department of Defense not to move forward with its implementation and to instead maintain an inclusive policy allowing qualified transgender servicemembers to enlist and serve openly in the military.

Status: Passed by the House 238-185.

Do No Harm Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1450 by Representatives Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and S. 593 by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

The Do No Harm Act will clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’s original intent was to protect religious exercise but could not be used to violate civil rights by using the justification of religious exemptions.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 3570 by Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA)

This bill would direct the Federal Trade Commission to treat the advertising of so-called “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent medical practice. In 2012, Congressman Lieu authored SB 1172, sponsored by Equality California, which became the first statewide law to protect LGBTQ minors from so-called “conversion therapy.” Since that time, 18 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico have enacted similar bans.

Status: Introduced in the House.

Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1981 by Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)

This proposal would amend Title XIX of the Social Security Act to prohibit payments under the Medicaid program for the dangerous, discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Such practices don’t work, aren’t needed and cause lifelong psychological harm.

Status: Introduced in the House.

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1585 by Representative Karen Bass (D-CA)

This bipartisan bill gives states additional funding to prosecute sexual and domestic violence offenders and enables states to qualify for money to provide critical services to victims who are members of groups that are disproportionately targeted, including Native Americans, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community. The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for victims of human trafficking and helping to bring those responsible to justice.

Status: Passed by the House 263-158.

Condemning the Trump Administration’s Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans’ Healthcare (SUPPORT) – H.Res. 271 by Representative Collin Allred (D-TX)

This resolution urges the U.S. Department of Justice to cease its efforts to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also urges the Department of Justice to reverse its position in Texas v. United States, a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican state attorneys general and two Republican governors seeking to render the entire law unconstitutional. The Department of Justice has refused to defend the constitutionality of the ACA in court and has submitted briefs in support of a federal judge’s ruling that the entire law is unconstitutional, including critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the expansion of Medicaid and other provisions that help provide access to quality healthcare.

Status: Passed by the House 240-186.

Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1777 by Representative Susan Bonamici (D-OR)

The Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act would designate LGBTQ older people and seniors living with HIV as a group of “greatest social need” target population under the federal Older Americans Act — the nation’s primary vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutritional programs for older people, such as Meals on Wheels. It also would require data collection regarding LGBTQ seniors and permanently reauthorize the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the country’s only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and support for LGBTQ seniors.

Status: Introduced in the House.

Elder Pride Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2312 by Representative Debra Haaland (D-NM)

This proposal would amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to establish the Office of Inclusivity and Sexual Health and a rural outreach grant program.

Status: Introduced in the House.

Inclusive Aging Act (SUPPORT) – S. 1159 by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Bob Casey (D-PA)

This bipartisan proposal would create and expand services to address sexual healthcare for older Americans and the diverse needs of LGBTQ older people, in particular. The bill would establish a federal Office of Inclusivity and Sexual Health in the Administration on Aging and reauthorize the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the country’s only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and support for LGBTQ seniors.

Status: Introduced in the Senate.

Juror Non-Discrimination Act/Jury ACCESS Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 874 by Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) and S. 250 by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

This proposal would amend the Jury Selection and Services Act to provide explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the process of federal jury selection — helping to ensure that both plaintiffs and defendants have access to a fair trial by a jury of their peers. Federal law prohibits discrimination in service on a federal jury based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin and economic status, but does not explicitly prohibit attorneys from discriminating against people because of their stated or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act (SUPPORT) H.R. 3874 by Representative Dina Titus (D-NV)

This proposal would reinstate U.S. leadership in protection and promoting LGBTI rights around the world by codifying Obama Administration tools (issuing LGBTI-specific human rights reports, an interagency focus group on LGBTI issues, and appointing a Special Envoy for LGBTI Human Rights) ; Using existing sanctions to punish countries that abuse LGBTI people; Ensuring that U.S. foreign assistance and global health programs are inclusive of LGBTI populations; Decriminalizing LGBTI status, conduct, or expression in rule-of-law programs; and Ensuring fair access to asylum and refugee programs for LGBTI people who face persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Status: Introduced in the House

International Human Rights Defense Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1857 by Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and S. 861  by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)

This proposal would direct the Department of State to create a permanent “Special Envoy on the Human Rights of LGBTI People” position to coordinate all federal programs for the defense of human rights for the LGBTQ community internationally and to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people around the world.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1978 by Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) and S. 923 by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

These bicameral, bipartisan bills would authorize $750 million in grants annually for the next five years for local governments to combat homelessness. For the first time, it would condition federal funds on a grant recipient’s ability to provide not only housing, but also comprehensive services like mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment and job training.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Census IDEA Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 732 by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and S. 358 by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)

This proposal would block the “Citizenship Question” from appearing on the 2020 Census and mandate a three-year review process for each question proposed to the decennial census so that all lines of inquiry undergo proper vetting and testing before being added to the Census.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

National Origin-Based Anti-discrimination for Nonimmigrants “NO BAN” Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2214 by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and S. 1123 by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

This bill seeks to limit presidential power and increase accountability under the Immigration and Nationality Act by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion and national origin whenever a president suspends the entry of individuals into the United States.

Status: Introduced in the House.

Reuniting Families Act (SUPPORT)H.R. 3799 by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA)

This proposal would reduce family immigration visa backlogs and promote humane and timely reunification of immigrant families by recapturing unused visas lost over the past two decades, increases per-country limits, increase the number of diversity visas, and prevent children from aging out and losing their place in line due to bureaucratic delays. The LGBTQ-inclusive bill would help same-sex and interfaith bi-national couples where one individual lives in a country that does not recognize their marriage by allowing refugees and asylum seekers who are unable to marry in their home countries to be resettled together and allows partners of asylum grantees to join them in the U.S. It also extends acquired automatic citizenship to children with at least one U.S. citizen parent, regardless of a biological relationship to that parent. This provision applies to children born through Assisted Reproductive Technology and children adopted within the first year of their life.

Status: Introduced in the House

Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 987 by Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)

This proposal would restore funding for Affordable Care Act education, marketing, and outreach efforts so that providers and navigators can educate Americans about open enrollment dates, coverage options, and financial support available to the public.

Status: Passed the House by 234-183. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.

Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower Health Education (MORE Health Education) Act (SUPPORT) – S. 455 by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

This proposal would ensure that the Trump administration fully funds outreach, marketing and education efforts to promote health insurance coverage offered on the federal Health Insurance Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act.

Status: Introduced in the Senate.

Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 986, by Representative Ann Custer (D-NH)

This proposal seeks to block the Trump Administration from allowing insurance companies to sell junk healthcare policies by prohibiting the implementation of the Trump Administration’s 1332 waivers to Affordable Care Act requirements.

Status: Passed by the House 230-183. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.

Defund Planned Parenthood Act (OPPOSE) – H.R. 369 by Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

This proposal would prohibit any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood or any Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliate for one year, unless it certifies that no abortions will be performed (except in the cases of rape, incest or to prevent the death of the mother) and redirect the funds to Community Health Centers.

Status: Introduced in the House.

2018 State Legislation
Equality California’s 2018 legislative package focused on the most vulnerable in our community and is part of our continuing effort to address the disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people face as a result of longstanding discrimination and lack of acceptance.

Equality California sponsored the following state legislation in 2018:

Gender Health in Foster Care – AB 2119 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria


Child welfare agencies are required to assess the health needs of all young people in foster care, and to ensure they receive appropriate and timely care to address the needs identified by qualified professionals. This bill makes clear that, to meet this obligation for transgender and gender nonconforming youth, child welfare agencies must ensure access to clinicians who provide gender-affirming treatment consistent with established standards of care. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill along with the ACLU of California, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 14, 2018.

LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training for Law Enforcement Officers – AB 2504 by Assemblymember Evan Low

LGBTQ people face higher rates of hate crimes and incidents, bias-based violence, harassment at the hands of law enforcement, and discrimination within the criminal justice system compared to the general population. AB 2504 requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) to develop LGBTQ-specific training for peace officers and dispatchers. Improving peace officers’ ability to communicate with and serve members of the LGBTQ community will assist them in responding appropriately to situations that involve LGBTQ people, with understanding and acceptance. AB 2504 will not only educate peace officers about the LGBTQ community and build more inclusive working environments, it will create new opportunities for dialog between law enforcement officers and the marginalized communities they serve.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018.

Establishing Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness – SB 918 by Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio


Four out of ten young people experiencing homelessness in California’s major cities identify as LGBTQ. SB 918 will help provide resources for housing, services and supports for youth experiencing homelessness and tasks the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (Council) with oversight. Under SB 918, the Council will be responsible for setting statewide goals and outcome measures and evaluating the effectiveness of programs in reaching those goals to meet the needs of young people experiencing homelessness. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with California Coalition for Youth, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Housing California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, and Tipping Point.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 27, 2018.

Increasing Access to Identification for People Experiencing Homelessness – AB 2490 by Assemblymember David Chiu

AB 2490 eliminates fees charged to people experiencing homelessness seeking to obtain certified birth certificates directly from the state. Many Californians experiencing homelessness live in counties that are not the county of their birth, and some may be unsure of their county of birth. LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness in particular often travel to major California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles to find acceptance, which could be a long distance from their county of birth. For some of these individuals, communicating with or even locating their county of birth to request a birth certificate is a significant hurdle. LGBTQ young people are particularly likely to be experiencing homelessness as a result of family rejection, which can make it unsafe for them to return to their former homes to gain access to their identifying documents.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 19, 2018.

Dignity and Opportunity Act – SB 990 by Senator Scott Wiener

This bill requires jail and prison employees to refer to transgender individuals by their preferred gender pronouns and names, and ensures that transgender people placed in solitary confinement for their own protection have access to programming, services, and work opportunities despite being in solitary confinement or otherwise separated from the general population. Transgender women, in particular, are often housed in male prison facilities and thus at great risk of victimization. They are frequently placed in solitary confinement, not for any transgression but rather for their own safety, and thus deprived of access to various prison services and work opportunities. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the ACLU of California and Lambda Legal.

Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Recognizing the Needs of LGBTQ Older Adults – AB 2719 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin

This bill will ensure that LGBTQ older adults are recognized as a population in need of special attention, and that they can access the services and support they need to maintain their health and live their lives with dignity. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with SAGE.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on August 24, 2018.

Suicide Prevention Training for Teachers and School Staff – AB 2639 by Assemblymembers Marc Berman & Patrick O’Donnell


This bill requires schools to review and, if necessary, update their student suicide prevention policies at a minimum of every five years. These policies already need to include a focus on high-risk populations, including LGBTQ youth, under existing law. AB 2639 will ensure that these policies are reviewed regularly and kept up-to-date. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Trevor Project.

A previous version of this bill would have established standards for online training on suicide prevention for teachers and school staff to prepare them to assist young people when they need support most. That legislative language was successfully incorporated into California’s 2018-19 budget, which Governor Brown signed on June 27, 2018

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 17, 2018.

Online Anti-Bullying Training for Teachers and School Staff – AB 2291 by Assemblymember David Chiu

AB 2291 requires public schools to provide online training annually on the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying to teachers and school staff. It would also require the California Department of Education to post this online training module along with other available online trainings to its internet website. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Advancement Project California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, and Council on American-Islamic Relations, California.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 18, 2018.

LGBTQ Family Law Modernization Act of 2018 – AB 2684 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom

The LGBTQ Family Law Modernization Act of 2018 would modernize and eliminate significant inequalities in California family law to ensure that LGBTQ parents and their children have access to the same protections as any other families. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 28, 2018.

Property Tax Equity for Same-Sex Partners – AB 2663 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman

This bill would provide retroactive relief to individuals who were registered as domestic partners in municipal jurisdictions and may have had their property taxes increased due to the death of a partner. AB 2663 seeks to bring equity to locally registered domestic partners who may not have registered with the state during a certain time period and ensure they can continue to afford their homes.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 29, 2018.

Updating Local Hate Crimes Policies – AB 1985 by Assemblymember Phil Ting


AB 1985 will help empower local communities to reduce rates of hate crimes. This bill provides guidance for local law enforcement agencies to update and strengthen their policies on hate crimes, focusing on recognizing hate crimes when they have occurred, engaging in appropriate response given the targeted community and the broader community, and fostering a community environment that prevents future hate crimes and incidents from occurring. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California.

Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on June 13, 2018.

Cultural Competency Training for Professional Fiduciaries – AB 1247 by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian

Private professional fiduciaries provide critical services to older adults and people with disabilities, including daily care, housing and medical needs, and financial management services ranging from basic bill payments to estate and investment management. This bill will give professional fiduciaries the training they need to provide culturally competent services for their LGBTQ clients.

Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown on September 22, 2018.

LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training for Teachers and School Staff – AB 2153 by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond

This bill will provide California schools with resources to support LGBTQ students and create safer school environments. LGBTQ students have higher dropout rates than their non-LGBTQ peers and continue to report missing school because of safety concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ students. This legislation will give teachers and school staff the training they need to provide culturally competent support for students who may be facing harassment or lack of acceptance at school, rejection at home, or discrimination in the broader community. Schools are on the front line of providing a safety net against the effects of discrimination and lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which can result in higher dropout rates, lower economic success, higher rates of homelessness, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and all the disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people face. If LGBTQ students have support in school, their likelihood of overcoming these disparities and succeeding later in life increases significantly.

Status: Vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 30, 2018.

So-Called “Conversion Therapy” is Consumer Fraud – AB 2943 by Assemblymember Evan Low


For far too long, LGBTQ people have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. These dangerous practices, often referred to as “conversion therapy,” have no sound scientific basis and can cause lifelong damage. This bill would make clear in California statute that claiming to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is a fraudulent business practice that misleads consumers and exposes LGBTQ people to damaging psychological abuse. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Trevor Project.

Status: Passed by the Assembly and Senate. Held in the Assembly prior to concurrence vote.

For more information about AB 2943 — including a list of supporters and frequently asked questions — please visit eqca.org/AB2943.

Celebrating Intersex Infants and Families – SCR 110 by Senator Scott Wiener

This resolution calls upon the medical community to discontinue medically unnecessary, nonconsensual, and often irreparably harmful sex assignment and genital “normalization” surgeries on intersex infants at birth. Instead, an intersex individual should decide for themselves whether to pursue surgery at all, at an age when informed consent is possible. Equality California is cosponsoring this resolution with interACT.

Status: Adopted by the Legislature on August 28, 2018.

PrEP & PEP Awareness Day – ACR 258 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an antiretroviral medication that has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV among people who are at high risk of acquiring the virus. PrEP is estimated to be over 90 percent effective at preventing HIV infection, but only about 12 percent of the 1.2 million Americans at high risk for HIV exposure are using PrEP. This resolution recognizes August 16, 2018, as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Awareness Day in California to enhance public awareness of PrEP and PEP.

Status: Adopted by the Legislature on August 23, 2018.

Recognizing Foster Care Month – SCR 137 by Senator Ricardo Lara

This resolution designates the month of May as National Foster Care Month in the State of California and calls on all Californians to observe the month by recognizing the extraordinary role that LGBTQ parents play in the foster care system, as well as the unique challenges confronting LGBTQ foster youth. Equality California is cosponsoring SCR 137 with Family Equality Council.

Status: Adopted by the Legislature on May 29, 2018.

2018 Federal Legislation
Equality California took positions on the following federal legislation and nominations in 2018:

Mike Pompeo (OPPOSE) – Confirmation as U.S. Secretary of State

Throughout his career, Secretary Pompeo has been a staunch opponent of LGBTQ equality, opposing the Violence Against Women Act and the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and cosponsoring multiple bills during his service in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have slowed the spread of marriage equality and provided a ‘license to discriminate’ against the LGBTQ community. He refused to disavow those positions during his Senate confirmation hearing, making it clear that he was unfit to advocate for the United States’ key role as a vocal proponent of LGBTQ human rights around the world — in an Administration that has sought to scale back our moral leadership in the advancement of human rights.

Status: Confirmed.

Brett Kavanaugh (OPPOSE) – Confirmation as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Even before credible allegations of sexual misconduct and assault were made against then-Judge Kavanaugh, Equality California strongly opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court on the basis of his judicial record, in which he demonstrated hostility to the Affordable Care Act, reproductive freedom, common-sense gun safety laws and hard-won legal protections for LGBTQ people and the diverse communities to which we belong. Equality California ramped up our opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to come forward and share her story with the nation, as his confirmation was inconsistent with our commitment to ending our societal culture of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.

Status: Confirmed.

Equality Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2282 by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) and S. 1006 Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR)

The Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country. Specifically, the Equality Act would have amended existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill also would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

Status: H.R. 2282 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. S. 1006 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

DREAM Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 3440 by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and S. 1615 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

This bipartisan proposal would give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements.

Status: H.R. 3440 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. S. 1615 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2119 by Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) and S. 928 by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

This proposal would have directed the Federal Trade Commission to treat the advertising of so-called “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent medical practice. In 2012, Congressman Lieu authored SB 1172, sponsored by Equality California, which became the first statewide law to protect LGBTQ minors from so-called “conversion therapy.” Since that time, six additional states and several municipalities have enacted similar bans.

Status: H.R. 2119 referred to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. S. 928 read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Do No Harm Act – H.R. 3222 by Representatives Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and S. 2918 by Senator Kamala Harris (D-NY)

This proposal would have clarified that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’s original intent was to protect religious exercise but could not be used to violate civil rights by using the justification of religious exemptions.

Status: H.R. 3222 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. S. 2918 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Student Non-Discrimination Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 5374 by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) and S. 2584 by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

This proposal would have explicitly prohibited public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It also would have protected students who associate with LGBTQ people, including students with LGBTQ parents or friends.

Status: H.R. 5374 referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. S. 2584 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Safe Schools Improvement Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1957 by Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and S. 2572 by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA)

This proposal would have required schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policies that ensure the safety and well-being of all their students, including youth who are bullied or harassed on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Status: H.R. 1957 referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. S. 2572 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Health Equity and Accountability Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 5942 by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and the Tri-Caucus and S. 3660 by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)

This proposal would have reduced ethnic and racial disparities in access to healthcare and outcomes and is powerfully “holistic” in that it includes sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language, immigration status, age, disability, and socio-economic status.

Status: H.R. 5942 referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Agriculture, Education and the Workforce, the Budget, the Judiciary, Veterans’ Affairs, Armed Services, and Natural Resources. S. 3660 read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

Every Child Deserves a Family Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2640 by Representative John Lewis (D-GA) and S. 1303 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

This proposal would have prohibited any entity that receives federal child welfare funds from discriminating against prospective adoptive or foster parents on the bases of their sexual orientation, gender identification, or marital status, or on the bases of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.

Status: H.R. 2640 referred to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources. S. 1303 read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

2020 American Census Investment Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 4013 by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

This proposal would have ensured that the U.S. Census Bureau has the funding necessary to conduct a fair, accurate and constitutionally mandated decennial census.

Status: Referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act of 2017 (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1739 by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and S. 2186 by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

This proposal would have repealed existing policies that encourage and allow discrimination against people living with HIV. It also would have directed the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services and Defense to initiate a national review of federal and state laws, policies, regulations and judicial precedents and decisions regarding criminal and related civil commitment cases involving people living with HIV.

Status: H.R. 1739 referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Armed Services. S. 2186 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1498 by Representatives John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and S. 411 by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

This proposal would have sought to eliminate law enforcement profiling on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Status: H.R. 1498 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittees on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations and on the Constitution and Civil Justice. S. 411 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

2017 Federal Legislation
Equality California opened its DC office in January 2017. Our legislative work was largely defensive in nature, due to the fact that leaders of both chambers of Congress and the Trump-Pence Administration staunchly opposed LGBTQ civil rights and social justice.

EQCA took the following positions on federal legislation and nominations in 2017:

Jeff Sessions (OPPOSE) – Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

When appointed by President Trump to serve as U.S. Attorney General, then-Senator Jeff Sessions already had a long, well-documented history of opposing civil rights for LGBTQ people, women, immigrants and communities of color. He was a co-sponsor of the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” which would have given businesses, landlords and even government agencies a “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ people based on their own personal beliefs. He was a longtime supporter of efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban marriage equality, opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and lead the fight against federal legislation to protect LGBTQ people from hate crimes. He has repeatedly opposed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and famously called a Black attorney “boy” and suggested that a white attorney representing black clients was a “race traitor” — comments that disqualified him from serving as a federal judge in 1986. Equality California joined every major civil rights, reproductive rights and LGBTQ organization in the country in opposing Sessions’ confirmation.

Status: Confirmed.

Neil Gorsuch (OPPOSE) – Confirmation as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Then-Judge Gorsuch first gained national attention for his opinions in two federal cases in which he supported an employer’s right to refuse to pay for reproductive healthcare as part of employee health coverage if doing so violated the employer’s own personal beliefs. Such judicial opinions represent a clear and immediate threat to LGBTQ civil rights and social justice. Additionally, Gorsuch was a strong opponent of workers’ rights and the rights of people with disabilities. For all of these reasons and more, Equality California strongly opposed Gorsuch’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Status: Confirmed.

American Health Care Act (OPPOSE) – H.R. 1628, by Representative Diana Black (R-TN)

This bill would have repealed key elements of the Affordable Care Act, a program that has provided affordable, robust healthcare coverage for millions of LGBTQ Californians, and made it possible for many to receive healthcare insurance or the first time. This Republican-led bill would also have stripped federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a vital program that provides healthcare services for millions of LGBTQ people across the country.

Status: Passed in the House 217-213 but failed in the Senate 49-51.

Hartzler Amendment 369 to the National Defense Authorization Act (OPPOSE) – by Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

This virulently anti-trans amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill would have prohibited military funds being used for transgender servicemembers needing medical treatment related to gender transition, including hormone therapy.

Status: Failed in the House 209-214.

Equality Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2282 by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) and S. 1006 Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR)

The Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country. Specifically, the Equality Act would have amended existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill also would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

DREAM Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 3440 by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and S. 1615 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

This bipartisan proposal would give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements. The Trump-Pence Administration has sought to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting millions of LGBTQ immigrants across California and the United States — immigrants who attend school here, work here and pay taxes here — at risk. Of the 200,000 DACA recipients in the State of California, Equality California estimates that as many as 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 2119 by Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) and S. 928 by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

This proposal would have directed the Federal Trade Commission to treat the advertising of so-called “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent medical practice. In 2012, Congressman Lieu authored SB 1172, sponsored by Equality California, which became the first statewide law to protect LGBTQ minors from so-called “conversion therapy.” Since that time, six additional states and several municipalities have enacted similar bans.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Do No Harm Act – H.R. 3222 by Representatives Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and S. 2918 by Senator Kamala Harris (D-NY)

This proposal would have clarified that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’s original intent was to protect religious exercise but could not be used to violate civil rights by using the justification of religious exemptions.

Status: Introduced in the House.

Student Non-Discrimination Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 5374 by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) and S. 2584 by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

This proposal would have explicitly prohibited public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It also would have protected students who associate with LGBTQ people, including students with LGBTQ parents or friends.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

Safe Schools Improvement Act (SUPPORT) – H.R. 1957 by Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and S. 2572 by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA)

This proposal would have required schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policies that ensure the safety and well-being of all their students, including youth who are bullied or harassed on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.

2014 State Legislation
Modernize Birth Certificates | AB 1951

AB 1951, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, would modernize California birth certificates by allowing parents to choose to self-designate as “father,” “mother” or “parent,” eliminating inaccurate designations and confusion for same-sex parents.

End Panic Defense | AB 2501

AB 2501, authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, would eliminate the so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses, outrageous tactics used by defendants who claim their violent acts were triggered by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Protect Students| SB 840

SB 840, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, moves forward on recommendations from 2013’s statewide audit on school safety and nondiscrimination laws, to hold schools accountable for documenting responses to bullying and referring students to appropriate services.

Youth Equality Act | SB 323

SB 323 ensures nonprofit youth organizations that receive special state tax privileges comply with California’s nondiscrimination laws. Specifically, this bill revokes the special tax status rewarded to nonprofit youth organizations should they violate our state’s nondiscrimination laws.

Clean Up Marriage Language | SB 1306

SB 1306, authored by Senator Mark Leno, brings California statutory law into line with last June’s Supreme Court decision restoring the freedom to marry in California. References to “husband” and “wife” would be replaced with gender-neutral language such as “spouse” to recognize all married couples throughout California code.

LGBT Cultural Competency for Health Care Providers | SB 703

Assembly Bill 496 clarifies that existing cultural competency training for health care providers should include discussion of LGBT issues. Also appoints a representative of the LGBT community to an existing task force on cultural competency for health care providers.

Respect After Death Act | AB 1577

AB 1577, the Respect After Death Act, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, would make sure death certificates for transgender Californians accurately reflect their authentic, lived identity.

2013 State Legislation
Youth Equality Act | SB 323

Clarifies that nonprofit youth organizations will only be rewarded with special tax exemptions if they comply with California’s existing nondiscrimination laws.

School Success and Opportunity Act | AB 1266

AB 1266 addresses the exclusion of transgender students from classes and activities, and clarifies existing anti-discrimination law to provide clear protections to transgender students.

LGBT Health Insurance Parity | AB 362

Provides an exemption from state taxes for additional income an employer provides to an employee to make up for federal taxes the employee would otherwise pay to add a registered domestic partner or same-sex spouse (and/or their dependents) to insurance plans.

Transgender Name Changes, Birth and Death Certificates | AB 1121

Simplifies the process required for a name change to reflect a person’s gender identity, as well as ensuring that a person’s identity documents reflect his or her gender identity accurately, particularly death certificates.

LGBT Cultural Competency for Health Care Providers | AB 496

Clarifies that existing cultural competency training for health care providers should include discussion of LGBT issues. Also appoints an representative of the LGBT community to an existing task force on cultural competency for health care providers.

LGBT Cultural Competency Training for Administrators in Senior Care Facilities | AB 663

Ensures that administrators of residential care facilities have an additional five hours of training in cultural competency and sensitivity in aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection | AB 1208

Ensures that the LGBT community is counted in California through health insurance eligibility application forms, which is an important step toward reducing the disparities the LGBT community faces in access to and quality of health services.

Assembly Joint Resolution 19 | AJR 19

Urges the federal government to act on this issue, and serve as an example for other states to follow as we continue to champion support for veterans’ rights.

Senate Resolution 18 | SR 18

Urges CalPERS and CalSTRS not to invest future resources from their pension plans in Russia.

2012 State Legislation
Protecting LGBT Youth From Psychological Abuse | SB 1172

For decades, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people—particularly youth—have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. It’s long past time to do everything in our power to put an end to the use of tactics that have no sound scientific basis and that cause lifelong damage.

Providing Safe, Supportive Homes for LGBT Youth | AB 1856

Few things are more devastating to a child than being removed from his or her parents. Yet, for LGBT youth in foster care, this devastation is often compounded by placements in foster homes that are at best ill-equipped to care for LGBT kids or at worst hostile to LGBT people. AB 1856 will help to provide comfort, safety and support to LGBT foster youth by creating LGBT cultural competency standards that foster homes housing LGBT youth must meet.

Holding Schools Accountable for Keeping LGBT Youth Safe at School

For years, EQCA and our partners have worked to advance policies to make LGBT youth safer and better supported at school. Some schools have done a laudable job implementing these policies and protecting LGBT youth. Others have failed to do the job. This request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee asks the state auditor to conduct a review of all school districts across the state and evaluate the degree to which they are complying with existing laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from discrimination and harassment.

Supporting LGBT Veterans and Military Families | AB 1505

Under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, LGB service members and their families made tremendous sacrifices, but without the support and recognition afforded to the families of other service members. AB 1505 (Pan) will guarantee that all California service members who were discharged from the military for no reason other than their sexual orientation are eligible for all state benefits for veterans and their families such as home loans, college tuition fee waivers and preference for civil service examinations.

Keeping LGBT People in Their Homes | AB 1700

The death of a lifelong partner is traumatic. But under current law, that trauma can be worsened by property tax penalties that apply unequally to same-sex partners, especially impacting LGBT seniors. AB 1700 (Butler) will ensure that no LGBT person is put at risk of losing the home that he or she has built over a lifetime with a loved one.

Removing Barriers to Family-Building | AB 2356

For many loving, committed couples, having a child and building a family is one of the most important and fundamental keys to happiness. Unfortunately, same-sex couples face many barriers in forming families—including unequal access to fertility health care. AB 2356 (Skinner) will ensure that women in same-sex relationships can access fertility services on the same terms as women in opposite-sex relationships.

Protect Religious Freedom in Marriage | SB 1140

As we continue our efforts to achieve full equality, we must remove every possible barrier to securing the freedom to marry, including the false claim made by anti-equality advocates in California and elsewhere that allowing loving same-sex couples to marry will force clergy or places of worship to compromise their religious beliefs. As we anticipate the restoration of the freedom to marry in our state, SB 1140 (Leno) reaffirms the principles of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with respect to the freedom of clergy to make faith-based decisions regarding which marriages they solemnize.

2011 State Legislation
  • FAIR Education Act | SB 48
  • Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education | AB 620
  • Seth’s Law | AB 9
  • Gender Non-Discrimination Act | AB 887
  • Vital Statistics Modernization Act | AB 433
  • Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Act | SB 182
  • Survey Data Inclusion Act | SB 416
  • Domestic Partnership Equality Act | SB 651
  • Equal Benefits Bill | SB 117
  • Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Act | AB 1349
  • LGBT Cultural Competency Training | SB 747
  • Insurance Non-Discrimination Act | SB 757
  • LGB Veterans Fairness Resolution | SJR 2
2010 State Legislation
  • Civil Marriage Religious Freedom Act | SB 906
  • Separation Equity Act | AB 2700
  • Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth | SB 543
  • Repeal of Discriminatory Code | AB 2199
  • Data Inclusion Act | AB 1878
  • LGBT Prisoner Safety Act | AB 633
  • Hate Crimes Protection Act | AB 1680
  • Unemployment Benefits Equality | AB 2055
  • Support of Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act | AJR 19
  • Support of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act | SJR 9
  • Support of the Uniting American Families Act | AJR 15
  • U.S. Blood Donor Nondiscrimination | AJR 13
  • Domestic Partner Tax Equity Resolution | AJR 29
  • 2020 Census Inclusion Resolution | SJR 28
  • Uganda’s Criminalization of LGBT People | SR 51
2009 State Legislation
  • Harvey Milk Day | SB 572
  • Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act | AB 1003
  • LGBT Domestic Violence Programs Expansion Bill | AB 1003
  • Equal ID Act | AB 1185
  • LGBT Prisoner Safety Act | AB 382
  • Senate Resolution in Support of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act | SR 23
  • House Resolution in Support of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act | HR 16
  • Senate Resolution in Support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act | SR 27
  • Assembly Resolution in Support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act | HR 20
  • Senate Resolution Urging Repeal of Prop 8 | SR 7
  • House Resolution Urging Repeal of Prop 8 | HR 6
  • Minor Mental Health Consent | SB 543
  • U.S. Blood Donor Nondiscrimination | AJR 13
  • Support of Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act | AJR 19
  • Support of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act | SJR 9
  • Support of the Uniting American Families Act | AJR 15
2008 State Legislation
  • Civil Rights Act of 2008 | AB 2654
  • LGBT Training for Health Professionals in Senior Care Facilities | SB 1729
  • Foster Youth School Safety Education | AB 3015
  • Harvey Milk Day | AB 2567
  • Co-Owners Exclusion from Change in Ownership | SB 153
2007 State Legislation
  • Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act | AB 43
  • Student Civil Rights Act | SB 777
  • Safe Place to Learn Act | AB 394
  • Juvenile Justice Safety and Protection Act | SB 518
  • Civil Rights Act of 2007 | AB 14
  • Fair and Equal Taxation for Surviving Partners Act | SB 559
  • Name Equality Act | AB 102
  • Resolution Supporting the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” | SJR 6
  • Domestic Partners Joint Income Tax Filing Implementation Bill | SB 105
  • Resolution Urging Federal Support of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act | AJR 29
2006 State Legislation
  • Safe Place to Learn Act | AB 606
  • Bias-Free Curriculum Act | SB 1437
  • State Income Tax Equity Act of 2006 | SB 1827
  • Civil Rights Housing Act of 2006 | AB 2800
  • Older Californians Equality and Protection Act | AB 2920
  • Nondiscrimination in State Programs and Activities | SB 1441
  • Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Act | AB 2051
  • Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act | AB 1160
  • Code of Fair Campaign Practices | AB 1207
2005 State Legislation
  • Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act | AB 849
  • Code of Fair Campaign Practices | AB 866
  • Elimination of “Panic” Strategy in Criminal Trials | AB 1160
  • Civil Rights Act of 2005 | AB 1400
  • Insurance Non-Discrimination Act | AB 1586
  • Domestic Partner Pension Death Benefit Legislation | SB 973
  • Resolution Supporting the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” | SJR 11
2004 State Legislation
  • Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act | AB 1967
  • California Insurance Equality Act | AB 2208
  • Omnibus Labor and Employment Non-Discrimination Act | AB 2900
  • Permanent Partners Immigration Act (PPIA) Resolution | AJR 60
  • Resolution Opposing A Federal Marriage Discrimination Amendment | AJR 85
2003 State Legislation
  • Equal Benefits in State Contracting | AB 17
  • Gender Nondiscrimination | AB 196
  • Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 | AB 205
  • Discrimination by Non-Employees | AB 76
  • Foster Youth Anti-Discrimination Act of 2003 | AB 458
  • School-Based Data Collection on Bias Incidents | AB 661
  • HIV Counselor as Limited Phlebotomy Technician | AB 685
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) | AB 879
  • CalPERS Recognition of Locally-Defined Domestic Partners | AB 1082
  • Bias Prevention Training for Teachers | AB 1250
  • Needle Exchange | AB 1363
  • LGBT Veterans’ Memorial | AB 1520
  • Boy Scouts Resolution | ACR 89
  • Nonoxynol-9 | AJR 16
  • Health Insurance Act of 2003 | SB 2
  • California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act | SB 71
  • County Employees Death Benefits | SB 85
  • “Sweat-Free” Contractors | SB 578
  • Revisions of 1985 School Safety Act | SB 719
  • Syringe Sales | SB 774
  • Co-owners Exemption from Property Tax Reassessment | SCA 5
  • Shareholder Pressure for Pharmaceutical Provision of HIV/AIDS Meds | SCR 11